P922: Developing an undergraduate research project: Making a left turn at caffeine

Author: Jordan Buckner, Lander University, USA

Co-Author: David Gardner, Lander University, USA

Date: 8/6/14

Time: 5:15 PM6:30 PM

Room: LIB

Related Symposium: S33

Most undergraduate research projects are extensions of previous work conducted by either the faculty research advisor or previous students. For adventurous students, it is possible to develop a research project from the ground up, in which the research idea originated from the student in an area in which the faculty advisor had no previous experience. In such cases, keeping an open mind about where the project should be going is important. This poster tells the story of how a project that started by examining detergent molecules in gasoline turned into a research project about caffeine solubility. By being open to new possibilities of what the project ought to be, the resulting endpoint of how caffeine solvates was much deeper, more insightful, and more fun than was originally anticipated.

P855: Task and design: Thinking about old labs in new ways

Author: David Gardner, Lander University, USA

Co-Author:

Date: 8/6/14

Time: 4:20 PM4:40 PM

Room: MAN 123

Related Symposium: S56

On occasion, it can be fruitful to step back from the details of a task and attempt to think about it from different, perhaps even unusual perspectives. New vantage points will sometimes lead to new insights. If we desire to increase engagement of students in physical chemistry, perhaps we ought to consider the question: “What is the purpose of the physical chemistry lab?” From the student perspective, the scientific content of an activity may not be as important as how the activity is conducted, or the rationale for engaging in the activity in the first place. For example, most lab activities are structured in such a way that the students have no control over what the task is and how the task is to be completed. This presentation will examine the nature and structure of the physical chemistry lab.

P599: Investigation of the origin of the Diet Coke and Mentos reaction

Author: Albert D. Dukes, III, Lander University, USA

Co-Author: David E. Gardner, Lander University, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 2:05 PM2:25 PM

Room: MAK BLL 126

Related Symposium: S47

We investigate the origins of the Diet Coke and Mentos classroom demonstration. This is an engaging demonstration and is very popular with students. With video analysis, we measure geyser height and reaction time as a function of number of candies used as well as the temperature of the soda. Our results show that the maximum geyser height is linearly related to temperature over a broad range of temperatures. In addition, we show that the geyser process is more complicated than the commonly given explanation indicating that the geyser results solely from the ability of the candy surface to nucleate CO2 bubbles. We propose that the geyser is a result of a two-step process. By better understanding the geyser process, the Diet Coke and Mentos demonstration can be more effectively used as a teaching tool.

P66: Update to the problem-solving mindset: Thoughts and observations from the trenches

Author: David E. Gardner, Lander University, USA

Co-Author:

Date: 8/3/14

Time: 3:40 PM4:00 PM

Room: LOH 164

Related Symposium: S10

Many students begin their study of physical chemistry engaged in a problem-solving mindset in which they consider the purpose of the course to focus solely on solving numerical problems. The problem-solving mindset represents a limited understanding of the nature of science. One method of pedagogically addressing this mindset is to encourage students to view the equations in physical chemistry as being how we think about and express our ideas about the physical quantities and concepts. Implications regarding the teaching and learning of physical chemistry are discussed. Additionally, several potential impacts regarding the broader chemistry curriculum are also considered.